Travel Tuesday: an island getaway to remember

Prince Edward Island (PEI) has quickly become one of my favourite places to vacation, and summer is definitely the best time to visit! Depending on what you like to do, PEI has something for everyone — below are a few of my PEI hot spots.

Beaching is an absolute must for any island vacation 
I’ve seen many beautiful beaches around the world but there are few that compare to those in PEI!  There are literally beaches everywhere you turn in PEI.  We spent lots of time visiting different beaches, soaking in the sun (Picture: Blooming Point Beach, Located on the North Shore).

Road trip
PEI’s west coast is packed with natural beauty, surrounded by pristine white sand beaches and lots of impressive red sandstone cliffs!  We spent a day exploring the incredibly scenic area of the island, where we visited the West Point Lighthouse (at 69 feet tall, it’s also one of PEI’s tallest and most unique lighthouses).

michelle-flavoursFlavours of PEI
There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from, with (of course) endless seafood and fish dinners. One of my favourite spots during this trip was our dinner at Open Eats in Summerside. I ate an entire pound of mussels to myself, which was absolutely delicious! Open Eats is a fairly new spot in Summerside. They use lots of fresh local foods, the staff was friendly, and the décor was delightful – a definite must if you’re looking for an enjoyable evening out!

Lobster, anyone? For a real taste of the island, there’s nothing more fun or authentic than a traditional lobster supper! Throughout the summer months, the best place for a lobster dinner is in New Glasgow — PEI Lobster Supper. Once you’re seated, you’re not only served lobster, but all-you-can-eat mussels, chowder, salad, dinner rolls, and dessert!

michelle-cow2Ice cream until the cows come home
A visit to PEI wouldn’t be the same without a stop at Cows Ice Cream — they really do serve Canada’s best ice cream! And, their hilariously-named flavours will leave you chuckling with every bite: wowie cowie, moo henry, don cherry, michelle-brewerygooey mooey.

Island Breweries
PEI may be new to the craft brewery scene but it is already excelling. The PEI Brewing Company, located in Charlottetown, is a brewer and distributor of all-natural craft beer.  They offer a great brewery tour, where you can see firsthand how they make my favourite beer – “The Gahan Blueberry Ale” (there wasn’t enough Blueberry beer to quench my thirst!).

And MORE island breweries!
michelle-brewery2Another great spot for craft beers is Upstreet Brewery, which opened in June 2015. We spent an evening there enjoying their large selection of draft beers, and even got to  meet Dylan Menzie (a local celebrity / musician who made it to the final round of CBC Music’s Searchlight contest).

Full of rural charm, surrounded by pristine white sand beaches, and with so many exciting attractions and  experiences to enjoy, this is one island where you’d be happy to be stranded!

Travel Tuesday: Galito’s Chicken – the perfect Toronto-to-Guelph pit stop

My husband and I set out on a lovely Saturday afternoon to visit some friends in Guelph. They had just bought a new home AND a giant sofa that they claimed would easily sleep two. Obviously, we needed to check out this magical sofa and test their honesty.

Along the route to Guelph, we stopped for an emergency sandwich.

Yes, you read that correctly: an EMERGENCY sandwich.

If you have a spouse who gets grumpy from hunger, you’ll totally understand that consistent feedings are the glue that holds your relationship together.

We needed something quick so we could get back on the road again and arrive at our friends’ house at an appropriate time. We could have participated in the typical road trip ritual of rolling into the drive-through of the first recognizable fast food chain that catches your eye. Instead, we decided to try out somewhere new.

We detoured off the 401 via exit 324 and followed James Snow Parkway for just a couple of minutes. This is where we found a chicken joint called Galito’s.

Galitos

Galito’s is a franchise with several locations in Africa but only one or two here in Canada. So of course we want to see what all of the fuss is about on the other side of the Atlantic!

My husband ordered a spicy chicken sandwich (they had three options: mild, spicy and extra spicy). It was fast, cheap and, most importantly, delicious! I snagged a few of his fries and wow, they were great. So good, in fact, that I didn’t wish I had my standard side of gravy, or even ketchup.

Galitos Chicken Sandwich.jpg
So if you are travelling between Toronto and Guelph, or you’re in Milton for any other reason, I highly recommend that you support a local business owner while eating a fast and delicious meal! Here’s the info:

Galito’s Chicken

81 James Snow Pkwy Milton, ON,  L9T 0R3

905-875-0033 (yes, they deliver, and it’s free on orders over $30)

www.galitoschicken.com

 

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Oh, and btw, is this what they meant when they said the sofa fits two – my husband and their two year old?

2 to a sofa.jpg

Just kidding, the sofa was SUPER comfy. I’m ending on that because I know you were just dying to know.

 

Travel Tuesday: Blue Mountain and Collingwood area, Ontario

Side Launch BreweryMy husband and I recently hopped in the car and headed to wherever we might end up, as we do. Well, we ended up in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area and it was awesome!

We only spent a day and evening in the area but we managed to pack a lot in.

After a quick tour through the main street and a stop at Tourist Information Centre in Collingwood, we headed to Side Launch Brewing Company.

Although the brewery has only been around for a couple of years (since May of 2014), it has already garnered a lot of attention in the beer world, and racked up some serious awards, the most recent being 2016 Brewery of the Year at the 14th annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Canadian Craft Brewers Conference.

product-dark-lagerThe awesome staff brought samples to our table and chatted with us not just about the beer but also about the (short) history of the brewery, the origin of Side Launch’s name and more.

Our favourite beer was the Side Launch Dark Lager. We picked up a six pack of that as well as a variety six pack. We brought the latter to a friend’s house the next day and our host also preferred the dark.

beet and horseradish spread.jpg

Here is the EMPTY jar of Beet & Horseradish spread because I immediately turned it into a magical borscht!

Next stop was the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. It wasn’t the easiest winery to find (thank you GPS) but after a stop at a little market on the side of the road where I picked up some local honey and an incredible beet & horseradish spread, at the end of a rocky dirt road, we eventually found the welcome sign for Coffin Ridge.

Forbidden dry ciderThis winery was definitely worth going a little out of the way for. The views were breathtaking, the seating comfortable, and they had live music! To our happy surprise, we found that Coffin Ridge had recently started crafting ciders as well. We learned from the helpful staff that even though they only recently started to sell it, the sales of their Forbidden dry cider were starting to overtake their wine. We could see why, it was delicious.

I chose the wine flight, my husband chose the cider flight and together we sat on a comfy outdoor sofa to listen to some music and take in the views.

wine and cider flights

Next stop, Blue Mountain Village! This is where we planned to do a little shopping and have dinner. Blue Mountain Village was packed with people, even though it is summer and Blue Mountain is known for skiing (although you can take the ski lift up the mountain to take in the views).

I highly recommend stopping at Georgian Christmas, a shop that has, as the name would imply, a lot of beautiful Christmas decorations and flotsam, but also jewelry and non-holiday themed décor as well. Go Fish Go is another fun and quirky store.

There were so many restaurants and we were starving at this point so we pretty much went into the first place that would feed us. We ended up at Kaytoo Restaurant & Bar, and we didn’t have any regrets about our choice. My husband ate perogies, which were our waiter’s favourite, not that he needed any encouragement to order that dish! On another recommendation from the staff, I had the stir fry with peanut sauce and it was either the best dish I ever ate or I was just REALLY hungry. Admittedly it was probably the latter but either way, it was excellent.

After dinner, we sipped Americanos from the Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery (which has a Bailey’s Irish Cream menu, btw) while listening to a live concert before heading home.

All-in-all a fabulous day trip! We wished we could’ve visited more independent businesses, restaurants, breweries and wineries so next time I will make sure to stay overnight.

poutinery

Mile High Poutinerie. We were too full to try it. 😦

 

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